SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

June 29, 2013

Neighbors testify about Martin-Zimmerman fight

SANFORD, Fla. — Two neighbors and a police officer gave accounts yesterday in George Zimmerman’s murder trial that seemed to bolster the neighborhood watch volunteer’s contention that he was on his back and being straddled by Trayvon Martin during a confrontation with the teen.

Neighbor Jonathan Good said it appeared the unarmed teen was straddling Zimmerman during their confrontation, while another neighbor, Jonathan Manalo, said Zimmerman seemed credible when he said immediately after the fight that he had shot Martin in self-defense. Officer Tim Smith said on the witness stand that Zimmerman’s backside was covered in grass and wetter than his front side.

All three were called as prosecution witnesses on the fifth day of testimony.

Good, who had perhaps the best view of the fight of any witness, said he did not see anyone’s head being slammed into the concrete sidewalk, which Zimmerman has said Martin did to him. Good initially testified that it appeared “there were strikes being thrown, punches being thrown,” but during detailed questioning he said he saw only “downward” arm movements being made.

Zimmerman has claimed that he fatally shot 17-year-old Martin last year in self-defense as the Miami-area teen was banging his head into the concrete sidewalk behind the townhomes in a gated community.

But under prosecution questioning, Good said he never saw anyone being attacked that way during the fight between Zimmerman and Martin.

“I couldn’t see that,” Good said moments later while being cross-examined.

Good, the second person to take the witness stand yesterday, said he heard a noise behind his townhouse in February 2012, and he saw what looked like a tussle when he stepped out onto his patio to see what was happening.

He said he yelled, “What’s going on? Stop it.”

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